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Author Topic: UFO:AI Release cycle  (Read 7438 times)

Offline jesper

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UFO:AI Release cycle
« on: April 18, 2010, 02:05:04 pm »
Hello UFO community

I have played version 2.2 of UFO:AI and followed the development on and of since. When following the development I have been astonished to see the long development cycle between releases. Is this a choice or a coincidence?

My advice to you would be to change the development  cycle, I will explain why in the following.

Open source applications usually have a short release cycle with close contact to the community. This increases involvement from existing users and generates new competent users. This is claimed in the book The cathedral and the bazar by Eric Raymond, its interesting reading under any circumstances. Examples of cool OSS applications that follow these guidelines: Wine, Pidgin, Firefox .... many others.

As a outsider (potential coder, i guess) I find it very difficult to understand what is going on. Today I checked the TODO/2.3: 4 months old, the changelog/2.3: A YEAR OLD! The info is outdated.

What I wanted to check was the status of 2.3. Perhaps some details on what to expect in 2.3. I found outdated pages.

A good thing is the monthly update on the main page, but i do not think it is enough. I would have a static release cycle with a release every 3-9 months. And document the changes and the feature requests and present them in a simple manner.

Well it is you project, use my feedback as you see fit, but please at least consider my recommendation.

Thanks for an interesting project.

Jesper Jakobsen

Offline DiDiT

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 02:33:33 pm »
What I wanted to check was the status of 2.3. Perhaps some details on what to expect in 2.3.

Then, Why don't you just Get and Compile the latest Dev build of 2.3?
Maybe then you could help find and possibly patch any bugs you find, thus speeding up the release of a stable version?

EDIT:
also have you seen this?
It might help solve some of your questions.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 02:36:46 pm by DiDiT »

Offline jesper

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 10:25:43 pm »
Hi DiDiT,

Getting and compiling is an option, but a bit cumbersome when the intention is just to get a feel of the changes. Besides a textual description is more acurate since I would probably not notice alot of the changes.

I am not really able to help in development since I don't know what needs work, as argued in my original post. You are right that I might accidentally trip over some vital bug, I would consider that unlikely.

The compiled version wont give information as to the status since I don't know the milestones. Having read the long forum post did not make me any less confused...

./Jesper

Offline DiDiT

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 10:47:48 pm »
Actually, now that I think about it... Your right. I cant seem to find any set milestones or targets for this project myself, But then again, most of the Updates I'v seen while I'v been here are random, Spontaneous user submitted affairs. 

Still, The games completely changed since 2.2, here you can find downloadable pre-built 2.3 Dev installers for windows but I'm assuming that you use windows.

From there, make suggestions and... Well, I'm not really sure what else I can do for you.
 

 

Offline Duke

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 11:08:19 pm »
I am not really able to help in development since I don't know what needs work, as argued in my original post.
I agree that the docs about project status and todos could be improved, but you'll find 100% of the things you can help with as a *coder* on the SF-bugtracker. We are NOT lacking features.

btw we had/have milestones, but we're lacking certain content from certain people, so the devs spend the waiting time fixing more or less important bugs. Which isn't that bad if you want my opinion ;)


Offline Kenner

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 03:02:53 am »
Actually, now that I think about it... Your right. I cant seem to find any set milestones or targets for this project myself, But then again, most of the Updates I'v seen while I'v been here are random, Spontaneous user submitted affairs. 

Still, The games completely changed since 2.2, here you can find downloadable pre-built 2.3 Dev installers for windows but I'm assuming that you use windows.

From there, make suggestions and... Well, I'm not really sure what else I can do for you.

Here is the link for the roadmap for version 2.3:

http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/ufoai/roadmap

Offline Silversnow

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 05:53:12 am »
Great! Thanks for the links!  ;D
Besides, you know how pesky newbies can be about the kind of stuff that EVERYONE knows  ::)

Offline bayo

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 12:00:40 pm »
Quote
Open source applications usually have a short release cycle with close contact to the community. This increases involvement from existing users and generates new competent users. This is claimed in the book The cathedral and the bazar by Eric Raymond, its interesting reading under any circumstances. Examples of cool OSS applications that follow these guidelines: Wine, Pidgin, Firefox .... many others.
I dont think we can see a single player with an history as another open source project. A video game is more like a movie or a book, it is a narative fiction. People will not play again and again the same thing, thats not the same with MP games or software.

It is a little out of scope, but that why, maybe we should work to:
1) improve the MP (and skirmish) side and hoping people will be interested. easy to use, easy to play, more interesting gameplay, new feature and content...
2) allowing easy way to mod new user campaign
Battle for Wesnorth is a very good example.



Offline Silversnow

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2010, 04:08:05 am »
Good point about SP open source, but you might notice that some rare games are still played more than a decade after they were released, and this one looks like it'll get better and better with each release.  ;)
Then again, working on multiplayer  could open up options.
For instance someone could play the aliens for someone else's game  :o

Offline jesper

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2010, 04:13:48 pm »
Hi all

Glad to see a bit of a discussion going. What I understand from your posts is that the documentation is not good but when you have been around long enough you discover where to go for information.
About more releases, people can download a binary on windows and compile from svn on Linux. No problem.

To some extent I agree, but I would still think a release every 6 months, with an easy accesible list of changes made. And a list of what will be worked on for the next release would keep people coming back, more often as is the case today.

As bayo points out people wont play the same game again and again, so the focus should be on dynamic gameplay like MP. This is interesting and true. Still the SP games develop so different in every game that one might want to play it again, I think I would.

./Jesper

Offline Silversnow

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 05:30:24 am »
Still the SP games develop so different in every game that one might want to play it again, I think I would.
I don't know about you, but I ended up discovering UFO:AI because I started a new game of Xcom  last week  ;D

Offline Specialist290

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 07:21:17 am »
I object to the assumption that single-player games are all "play-and-forget":  I was addicted to Civilization II for years, and I never once played an MP game of it.  I'll still fire up some of my older games, too; it's a shame Valve doesn't run well on my laptop, or I'd probably be replaying HalfLife 2 every chance I get.

Sometimes, even when you've already exhausted the plot, there's still something to be said for trying something new.

(I also object to the assumption that you can't enjoy a movie or a book more than once, but that's a rant for a different time and place.)
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 07:23:19 am by Specialist290 »

Offline bayo

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 08:49:59 am »
Civilization dont have a narative gameplay. And every body replay sometime games, but how often? every month? every 6 months? What i mean is if you replay UFO:AI, you will not read mails, you will not real ufopedia... it will became another game.

Offline keybounce

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2010, 09:50:21 pm »
Is it really so bad if it becomes just another game?

Maybe one game you play as a kamakazi commander.
Maybe one game you play as a coward.

Maybe one game you play as a bean counter
Another time you play as a "Give it back to them" (alien tech only once you get it)

Maybe you play with a focus on one part of the tech tree, and then a different part.

XCom was very different if you refused to use psi.
It was very different if you refused to use blaster bombs.

I'm not sure that the last room on mars was even doable if you used neither psi nor blaster bombs. (BB's made it too easy, that's for sure.)

Offline Winter

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Re: UFO:AI Release cycle
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2010, 10:36:26 am »
I dont think we can see a single player with an history as another open source project. A video game is more like a movie or a book, it is a narative fiction. People will not play again and again the same thing, thats not the same with MP games or software.

That statement is provably wrong. There are SP games which I've played time and time again, X-COM included, and which I still pick up every now and again to enjoy them some more. People reread books and rewatch movies. The only reason why single-player entertainment is on the decline nowadays is because it requires slightly more development and more care, and it doesn't allow publishers and developers to keep squeezing cash out of a single property for years afterwards.

Regards,
Winter